The Bessarabian Metropolitan Church said illegalities were committed when registering a bishopric of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church as belonging to the Metropolitan Church of Moldova. This is the Orthodox Bishopric “Dormition of the Mother of God” situated in Dereneu village of Călărași district, which was registered under the canonic subordination of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova with a different name, but with the same identification code and another bishop, of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova.
In a news conference at IPN, Andrei Bucliş, secretary of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church, said the Public Services Agency registered the changes in the absence of a report signed by the members of the bishopric. “The Agency accepted a report signed by persons who are not members of the bishopric and thus approved the registration of the lists, with new members of the community. The functionaries responsible for the registration of religious denominations and their component parts at the Public Services Agency allowed registering a new status based on which the bishopric could be transferred under the canonic subordination of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova (Russian Patriarchate), even if registered members of the community didn’t approve of this,” stated Andrei Bucliş.
According to him, the Metropolitan Church of Moldova, even if it admits that the request to join this religious cult was made in the name of a group of persons who have nothing to do with the bishopric, it gave its consent to make the legal changes. “The Public Services Agency, in collusion with the Moldovan Metropolitan Church, made illegal documents and allowed to abusively register the changes that enabled to transfer the bishopric under the canonic subordination of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova. The bishop and members of the bishopric informed the functionaries of the Agency about the made mistakes and the abusive registration of the changes in breach of all the proceedings, who initially accepted to register the documents for reanimating the Orthodox Bishopric “Dormition of the Mother of God” in Dereneu, of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church. In only several days of the submission of the application by the community of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church, we ascertained that the Agency’s functionaries transmitted this information to the Metropolitan Church of Moldova, which took action to block the process of restoring the previous status,” said the secretary.
Marin Florinel, bishop of the Orthodox Bishopric “Dormition of the Mother of God”, said that since 2017, when the church in Dereneu juridical and canonically joined the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church, the community has gone through an ordeal. “The parishioners are no longer buried with bell rings. The parishioners cannot enter the church, are humiliated and forced not to believe in what our ancestors believed for over 2000 years. What’s going on in our locality is outrageous. During three years we have been in litigation and no one wants to see us and to hear us,” regretted the priest.
The representatives of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church reminded that a group of about 70 persons on March 4, 2018, under the direction of the secretary of the Diocese of Ungheni and Nisporeni, Archbishop Vadim Corostinschi, appeared at the Church “Dormition of the Mother of God” in Dereneu with the aim of entering the building by force. The villagers mobilized and barricaded the central door of the building. There were struggles and quarrels and the public order was disrupted.
On March 5, 2018, a smaller group of about 30 persons under the same direction came to the church with the same aim – to take over. At that moment, there was no one on the territory of the church. When entering the territory, they broke the lock, opened the main door from inside and changed the locks on all the doors and then barricaded the entrance to the church and prevented parishioners and the priest from entering.
On March 6, 2018, a larger group of priests of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova went to Dereneu to intimidate the parishioners who joined the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church so as to manipulate and frighten them according to different criteria, said the representatives of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church.